EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)


A person wearing a protective gear working on a wood plank

Some jobs are riskier than others. PPE exists to reduce the risk and harm to employees while on the job. But what is PPE, and how does it help workers? PPE is specialized gear designed to keep workers safe. There are various types of PPE available, and we're going to explore the purpose of this protective gear and why it's necessary for high-risk occupations. Keep on reading to learn more.

What Is PPE?

PPE, or personal protective equipment, is wearable gear that workers use to reduce their exposure to injuries, accidents, or infection. Most industries have some level of occupational risk and hazards to their employees. For example, kitchen workers use oven mitts to protect their hands from heat. An electrician would wear safety glasses to keep bright lights from harming their eyes. Depending on its intended purpose, PPE differs among occupations.

Types of PPE

The goal of PPE is to reduce the chances of harm during situations where it's not possible to remove hazards altogether. The five types of PPE classifications are head, hearing, eye and face, respiratory, and hand protection. Head & Hearing Protection Head protection gear is required for jobs where the chances of head injury are higher than average. Hard hats and bump caps are the two types of PPE used to prevent harm from falling objects, penetration, and shock from slips and falls. Specific jobs, like construction and drilling, also expose workers to loud noises. Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations require every employer to ensure that no worker is exposed to noises higher than 84 decibels for more than 8 hours a day. Earplugs and noise meters are common safety gear for these types of professions as they help detect volume changes and manage loud noises for workers. Eye & Face Protection Your eyes are the most sensitive part of your body, and it's vital to keep them protected at all times. It's not uncommon for occupations like carpentry and welding to use chemical substances for resurfacing or polishing. That is where face & eye PPE, including safety glasses, goggles, and face shields, are used extensively. They keep debris, chemicals, and acids from getting into the face or eyes. Respiratory and Hand Protection Respiratory protection keeps you safe from inhaling toxic or otherwise harmful substances. Hand PPE equipment prevents your hands from extreme heat, cold, and electrical damage. Face masks, respirators, and protective hoods are an integral part of this type of PPE. Leather, rubber, and chemical-resistant gloves provide hand protection for employees.

What Are the Benefits of PPE?

One benefit of PPE equipment is that it limits bacteria and virus spread. Face masks worn during the global pandemic are a perfect example of PPE reducing the risk of exposure and spread of infection. Protective equipment protects more than the workers; customers benefit from PPE also. Gloves worn by food industry workers help prevent E. coli and salmonella poisoning. Prolonged exposure to cleaning chemicals is standard on some jobs. PPE reduces respiratory complications from inhaling toxic chemicals. Some materials are also skin irritants; PPE reduces exposure to these substances.

In Need of PPE in Grande Prairie?


PPE is a required part of working in various industries. There are five types of PPE, and its purpose is to reduce exposure to hazards, minimize risks, and maintain a safe workspace. Eye masks, leather gloves, respirators, and earplugs are all types of PPE workers use while on the job. Gloves, in particular, help prevent the spread of bacteria among employees and customers. If you are looking for industrial first aid services or safety gear in Grande Prairie, Priority Safety Services & Rentals Ltd. has got you covered. Contact us at any time to learn more about our products and services.